County of Monterey detention unit, California

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The terms jail and prisons are used interchangeably. However, there is a variation in their meaning. Prisons are built to house prisoners for long term periods and carry out rehabilitation programs for the offenders. Jails, on the other hand, are custodial in nature as they serve as holding units for individuals prior to their sentencing, trial or conviction (Witkin & Epstein, 1999). This paper will seek to address the Monterey County, California’s jail in reference to its organization, the management, and its capacity.

The detention division, otherwise known as jails is classified under Corrections Bureau which is mandated to administer the Division of Court Services. The Monterey County detention facility not only takes in but also houses and releases inmates in both the rehabilitee section and the central jail. The division includes the classification unit (Witkin & Epstein, 1999). The county facility comprises of both non-sentenced and sentenced inmates of either gender. The jail complex is comprised of an infirmary that is staffed with both dental and psychiatric professionals. Moreover, there is an inbuilt laundry site, a library, professional kitchen, a chapel, maintenance shop, as well as commissary services. The inmates that get to the facility are sourced from the California Department of Corrections, the superior court of California and the probation department in charge of probation violations.

The jail is divided into thirty-one separate units which range from open dormitory to single cell settings. The capacity is approximately 1100 inmates, in which the sentenced inmates are housed in the open dormitory and assist in the duties around the cell such as cleaning and kitchen work as well as maintenance (California Council on Criminal Justice, 1973). The work crews not only work in the Monterey County Jail but also outside the facility to tender to the Sheriff’s office. The inmates awaiting their sentencing are held in a secure unit and do not undertake responsibility with the work crews. In relation to the programs offered in the facility, they include; vocational classes and library services as well as alcohol and drug programs and religious studies (American Correctional Association, 2000). As or the volunteers who wish to work alongside the jail staff, they are required to fill out a referral forum provided by the corrections operations bureau and upon filling it out, submit to the chief deputy for consideration.

As for the classification unit, it is liable for the placement of inmates in line with similarity I background. The classification evaluation depends on the gravity of the crime, previous assaultive behavior, their age as well as the sophistication of the criminal. Almost 30 percent of the inmate population is allied to a gang, while 15 percent of the convicts require psychiatric treatment (Bennett, 1960). As such, the classification assists in assigning the prisoners to their housing unit.  Surprisingly, the incarcerated inmates have to pass through an Iris Scan, digital fingerprinting as well as digital imaging to identify those arrested by transmitting their fingerprints to the department of justice. A computerized booking is applied, which ensures fast and reliance identification. Moreover, video conferencing is used and arraignment program reduces cost and secures the inmates thereby remaining safe for both wardens and the prisoners.

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  1. American Correctional Association, (2000). National Jail and Adult Detention Directory Bancroft-Whitney Company
  2. Bernard Ernest Witkin, Norman L. Epstein, (1999) California Criminal Law, Volume 3
  3. California Council on Criminal Justice, (1973). Bulletin – California Council on Criminal Justice, Volume 6
  4. James V. Bennett, (1960). Recent Prison Construction, 1950-1960
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